The grounds and lobby of the Grand are indeed grand. The hotel is massive, consisting of several buildings. The landscaping is done to perfection. The Lobby is also massive, with a huge atrium ceiling. The decor was Victorian, also done to perfection. There is at least a piano player, but usually a band playing.
A few weeks ago, we had the great privilege of visiting the famous Del Coronado resort on Coronado Island in San Diego. Again, we did not actually stay there. We just walked around the grounds and through the lobby.
The outside of the hotels are similar, but the Del Coronado seems like a hotel that started smaller, and grew as the need arose. The lobby was smaller than the Grand, and quite darker. The only music was the 80's rock coming over the speakers. The landscaping was ok. I was expecting more. As for the shops, well, they were expensive in both!
So, here is my recommendation. ;)
If you are going for the weather, choose the Del. If you are going for the hotel, choose the Grand.
It is my desire one day to actually stay at either or both of these fine establishments and give you a real review. If anyone is hiring a wanna-be hotel critic, I am up for the job!